A kilt on a strapping young lad never looked so good as when Sam Heughan, the star of the Starz network much anticipated new series Outlander, took the stage for a Q&A with the members of the Television Critics Association during the TCA press tour.
Heughan told everyone he finds the kilt “freeing and liberating.” The awesome man with the tilt in his kilt is sure to make fans of The Outlander books swoon when they see him in the role of Jamie Fraser. But they’ll have to wait until Summer for the series debut on the Starz network.
Even when Sam isn’t shooting Outlander, he has gotten use to wearing his kilt. “For formal occasions I’ll wear a modern styled kilt. But for filming the show we use the feileadh mhor (philamore) which is the traditional kilt.”
He describes the type worn in the 1700s (the setting for Outlander) as a very long bit of cloth. “I can’t remember the actual size of the traditional ones, but our are about seven or eight foot long, and they are basically used as a tool. The Highlanders would wear them to keep themselves warm.”
With so much material, he says ”you could use is it as a sleeping bag. You could use it as camouflage to blend into the background. They had a variety of uses. They also had lots of pockets and you could wear them in different ways. It took a long time to get used to it, but it’s a real joy to work with it, and you can find various uses. I mean, we even discovered you can use it as a shield you can wrap around your arm for protection.”
Modern kilts can have brightly colored plaids, but all the colors you see in the Outlander kilts are earth tones. They are taken from the environment becasue the dyes were from natural herbs or berries, Sam says after becoming sort of an expert now on the traditional kilt.
Sam Heughan is actually a graduate of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. He was a 2003 nominee for the Laurence Olivier Award for Most Promising Performance for his work in the program. Last year, he originated the role of ‘Batman’ in the DC/Warner Bros. and Waterlane production of “Batman Live,” an international tour which opened at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and went on to tour in South America and throughout Europe. In 2010, he was nominated for a British Soap Award for Villain of the Year for his role as ‘Scott Neilson’ in the BBC soap opera “Doctors.”
He’s had a range of television roles and was nominated for a Grace Award for his performance as ‘Prince Ashton,’ the son of Sir Roger Moore, in “A Princess for Christmas” for Hallmark Channel. His film credits include the features Alexander The Great from Macedonia and Emulsion. He will also be seen in the upcoming film Heart of Lightness. On stage Heughan performed “Romeo and Juliet,” and now he’s the romantic leading man in Outlander. #